Jenewa, The Indonesia Post – The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be near and therefore, the public should step up efforts to prevent its further spread, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday (14/9).
“We are not there yet (the end of the pandemic). But the end is in sight,” said the head of the world health organization.
Tedros told a news briefing that the death toll from COVID-19 last week had fallen to levels recorded in March 2020.
According to the UN health agency, the number of deaths from COVID-19 on September 5-11 stood at 10,935 people worldwide, down 22 percent from the previous week’s figure.
In addition, the number of new cases for this week fell sharply by 28 percent to 3.13 million cases.
“We can see the finish line. We are now in a superior position,” said Tedros.
For this reason, he urged the world community to increase vigilance to contain the spread of the virus.
Tedros compared the situation towards the end of the current pandemic to that of a marathon runner “running faster” when the finish line begins to appear.
If the world does not seize the opportunity to end the pandemic now, there is still a risk that more variants of the virus will develop, leading to increased mortality and continued disruption and uncertainty, Tedros said.
He requested that the current rules for implementing COVID testing and gene analysis be maintained and that anti-COVID vaccination efforts be accelerated in areas where vaccination rates are still low.
The new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was first discovered in the city of Wuhan, central China, in December 2019 and the WHO declared a global pandemic in March 2020. (mhn/bbs)